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Before You Posting a Tutor
- Be ready to take customers and tutor them before you post your first ad. Your advertising will be most effective if you can create a good first impression with those who call. Good preparation should also show through in your ads.
- Choose the subject(s) you will tutor. If possible, select subjects relating to your own expertise, subject of study, or professional experience.
- Consider the age range with which you’d like to work. Second graders and high school juniors will have widely varying levels and needs.
- Get some experience tutoring, formally if possible. See if your local library has an adult literacy program. Look for volunteer tutoring opportunities in your area and find out whether any offer tutor training. Or, tutor somebody you know, such as a neighbor or family member.
- Write a resumé of your tutoring experience and related education. Don’t forget volunteer experience, such as helping a classmate, sibling, or child. You can show this list of qualifications to prospective customers or their parents. Even if you don’t show it to them, it will help to prepare you to promote your services and answer calls.
- Consider taking classes or training in how to teach. There is more to it than knowing the subject you’ll teach. You also have to know about how to motivate students and explain things.
- Decide how much you will charge. Evaluate your credentials and experience, and find out what others in your area charge.
- Decide where you will tutor.If you will go to the students, don’t forget to factor in travel time. If the students will come to you, make sure you are comfortable having them at your home.
- Make Business Cards and Brochures that state that you offer tutoring services and hand them out to people you know. Besides being a simple and inexpensive way to spread the word, personal contacts and word of mouth are very powerful and persuasive advertising tools. People tend to trust people they know. Also send these cards and brochures to school counseling offices to let them know about your service. Often they will mention your service to teachers, especially if you mention recommendations from parents and students.
- Sign up with a local tutoring agency and let them do the advertising for you. Depending on the agency, be prepared that you may have to demonstrate at least basic academic credentials, such as having a college degree. Also be aware that these agencies take a cut, so you will make less per session than you might freelancing. Also find out what they have in their contracts for non-competition clauses. That said, they can be a good way to build your tutoring experience. But you must also keep in mind that many of these agencies take a very large percentage. You might be much better striking off on your own.
- Sign up with an on-line tutoring agency. This and various other on-line services match up tutors and students. If you go with such a service, read the fine print and find out what the fees and restrictions may be. Keep in mind that you may not meet your students personally this way, nor necessarily have long-term contact with them.
- Compose your advertisement. Aim to catch attention, then demonstrate value. Mention your credentials and focus on results. Don’t forget to include some information about what subjects and ages you can teach. One approach might begin: “‘Jessica’ raised her math grade from C to A; you(r child) can, too. Ask me how!”
- Create different versions of your ad with varying lengths and headlines. A classified ad will read differently than a flyer, for instance. Have somebody proofread your ads. Even if English is your strong point, you can still miss things in your own writing, and you want to come across as professionally as possible.
- Advertise locally. Try these options:
Tips as Tutor Posting
- Be prepared to give references. This is where volunteer experience can come in handy, if you don’t yet have some established, satisfied customers.
- Encourage your customers to tell others. Moms of students, especially, talk to other moms.
- Ask your customers how they heard of you so that you know which advertising approaches work.
- When advertising, put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If you were a student or a parent, where would you go? What would you read? What would concern you? What would attract you?
- Be honest, but don’t be overly modest. Present your work in a good light. Don’t put your prices in your ads unless you intend to use them as a selling point. Otherwise, discuss that after your first impressions are made. Keep in mind, though, that some people believe that lower prices indicate lower quality.
- Consider offering a first session for free or a reduced rate. It’s a good incentive for people to try you, and it’s a good opportunity for you and your customers to get to know each other under a little less pressure.
- Call your local schools and ask if they have a tutor list, have them put your name on it. If they don’t have one, ask if they would consider starting one. They may require you to come in or to send a resume.
- Consider listing in free tutor directories.
Warnings to a Tutor
- There are restrictions on certain kinds of advertising. Make sure that you follow guidelines of campuses, libraries, cities, and other establishments where you post flyers or spread handbills, and otherwise obey laws.
- Find out whether you need a business license or other credential to work as a tutor.
- Be the best tutor you can be. The best advertising is word of mouth from satisfied customers.
- Remember, tutoring is considered self-employment, so you will have to pay the appropriate taxes on your income.